Finding a Fale: A collaborative research project with the Tonga Leitis’ Association (TLA) exploring the causes of and solutions to housing insecurity for leiti.
This is a collaborative research project where I worked alongside the Tonga Leitis’ Association to conduct semi-structure interviews with 20 leiti into the causes of, and solutions to housing insecurity. I set out to follow a PAR (participatory action research) methodology but was constrained in fully implementing this due to constraints of the project timeline. This project draws on the principles of PAR as well as other indigenous research theories.
This project contributes to the academy’s understanding of the life and challenges experienced by leiti. It shows that housing insecurity cannot be viewed in isolation but is influenced by many aspects of people’s lives. This is especially true for ‘vulnerable’ minorities such as leiti. This project revealed that leiti experience marginalisation in many ways and showed that they are often survivors of significant levels of violence.
This study includes a range of recommendations which are driven from the participant interviews. These actions should create change which would ensure that Tongan society is more inclusive of leiti and would provide leiti with a safe space to reside if they experience violence or oppression.